Updated: May 9
A hardy and beautiful plant that bees go crazy for.
May is a fabulous time in the garden - the April showers have gone and its getting warmer. Honeybees and bumblebees are out and about and gardeners can give them a little help by planting flowers that provide pollen or nectar for their rapidly growing colonies.
Also known as the Dusky Cranesbill, this elegant Geranium grows well in light shade but really shines in full sun.
I am a big fan of Raven which has deep purple flowers and fresh green leaves. It goes well with dark blues and oranges - some of my favourite colours. There are lots of varieties though with flower colours from white through pale pink and purple so there's sure to be one that fits in your garden. It tolerates drier soils although I grow it on heavy clay which it seems to love. It flowers like crazy from May through June and looks good with other herbaceous perennials in a flower border or in wilder parts of the garden with cow parsley.
WHY DO BEES LOVE IT?
The open flowers mean that nectar is easily available to a wide range of bees including honeybees and short-tongued and long-tongued bumblebees. It's also visited by solitary bees such as mason bees (Osmia species). Basically, everyone's a winner!
Don't confuse true geraniums, or cranesbills, with bedding geraniums (zonal pelargoniums), which are not really bee plants.